Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Coming, One Going

My younger two kids started school today. The youngest faces his freshman year at New Canaan High, essentially beginning his journey through high school, and my daughter began her senior year, basically the commencing of the end of her journey.

It was a bittersweet, gulp-down-the-emotions morning for the mommy as I watched them get out of my car and head in the front door, with nary a glance back at me. I felt proud, anxious, relieved and flabbergasted that somehow, after 27 years of motherhood I now stand four years away from the infamous empty nest of which I hear tell.

One coming, one going. In June of 2001 I first had one coming and one going in a bit more of a spectacular and daunting fashion: My oldest son was graduating high school and a school system after 13 years, and my youngest son was going to enter kindergarten that September. I was looking at going all the way through for the fourth time; those 13 years never loomed so long and large!

But now they are wrapping up maybe faster than I am ready for? I mean I comprehend that Jack is only a freshman, but those of us who have had a child go through high school before know that the time really zips by, almost in a flash. There they are, all kinds of gangly or awkward, short or tentative as ninth graders, still rather baby-faced, and then - BAM! - they appear on the eve of senior year all grown up, whiskered and brawny, female figured, filled out and sassy and chomping at the bit to get the hell outta Dodge!

I will treasure this year though, observing Jack navigating his way around the social and academic maze of high school, and watching Jess anxiously as she tidies up her final year, emerging a more confident, settled and fully formed young woman on the cusp of, well... greatness.

One coming, one going. And one mother holding a handful of hope.

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